Novartis touts 5-year Cosentyx data as it works to hold top spot in psoriasis

Looking to hold off entrants from three rival drugmakers, Novartis is touting data for Cosentyx showing durable skin clearance rates for its IL-17 inhibitor.

Looking to stand out in an increasingly crowded field, Novartis is publishing 5-year data for Cosentyx showing long-term skin clearance in psoriasis patients. The data come as Novartis contends in the next-gen psoriasis space with Eli Lilly, Valeant and now Johnson & Johnson.

In data released Wednesday, Novartis said Cosentyx responses remained steady from year 1 to year 5, with 89% and 69% of patients scoring at a PASI 75 or PASI 90, respectively. PASI, or the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, measures treatment success for psoriasis patients.

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Forty-four percent of patients had completely clear skin, or a PASI 100 score, after one year of treatment; the rate stayed consistent to year 5.

It’s important data for Novartis to tout as it hopes to hold off new entrants; Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya has the most recent approval in the field. Cosentyx pulled in $261 million during its launch year in 2015 and quickly jumped up to $1.1 billion in sales last year.

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An IL-17 inhibitor, Cosentyx also boasts approvals in ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. But since Novartis rolled out Cosentyx, Eli Lilly has won FDA approval for Taltz, Valeant for Siliq and Johnson & Johnson for Tremfya.

Vas Narasimhan, currently development head at Novartis but slated to become CEO, said in a statement the data “reinforce Cosentyx as an important treatment option for those people living with psoriasis who aspire for skin clearance that can last.” So far, 100,000 patients around the globe have received the treatment.

RELATED: Novartis' Cosentyx racks up more long-term data in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

Meanwhile, Novartis recently won a groundbreaking CAR-T approval and announced a CEO transition that’ll move Narasimhan into the lead role.